Saturday, January 31, 2015

Clarifying that Comment

(or at least trying to)
(Illustration/map from "1493" by Charles C. Mann)
      Jumping off of the Rock Piles Post "Agricultural use versus rock pile site" to here:

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Before the Big Snow

Above: at a possible Serpent Gateway (with life size dummy for scale).
Below: Stone in the Split Bedrock. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Agricultural use versus rock pile site counts

From Curt Hoffman:
I now have got soils data on most of the sites in my inventory.  Looking at this, it seems that sites with high agricultural productivity, low productivity, and no productivity (rock outcrops and swamps) are in about equal numbers at 30% of the total each, with sites used for pasturage and with moderate productivity constituting the balance.  However, sites with only rock piles and no other types (constituting about 1/3 of the total) are almost twice as likely to be found in agricultural lands, and this is statistically significant at the 100% confidence interval.  This is especially the case in Georgia and South Carolina.  By contrast, they are much more likely to be found on infertile lands in Vermont and Maine.  The attached graph, color coded by sextile %s, illustrates this.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

South of Hog Hill - West Boylston

I want to say "just another rock pile site". Walking here, next to Rt 190, I managed to spot rock piles in the snow, and they are pretty but not very informative. In this place, separate rock pile clusters occur associated to short stretches of stone wall. Located near the corners of the triangular blue outline shown above, .
I would not have seen the first cluster of piles except I was poking around having a closer look at this short stretch of stone wall, from below:
 and from above:

At a different spot (isolated, not in the blue triangle), what looked like a small fire place against a boulder:
Also a random observation, four or more rocks in a line - too many to be random:

At the top of the triangle, some slightly larger piles are up in the woods at the edge of the open field.
 Some faintly rectangular:
 View towards the field:
Not only were some piles here faintly rectangular, some of them also had a faint hollow in the middle.
Perhaps a bit of vertical siding.

 And also, nearby, another short stretch of wall:

Further downhill, another site (at the right hand corner of the triangle on the map):

Hidden in the bushes and hidden in the snow.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

East of the Stop River

I was exploring here in Walpole in a conservation land:
and came upon something:
After the rock pile in the foreground, there was a boulder connected to a rock pile, connected to another boulder.
About twenty yards down slope was another smaller mound. 
From below:
Below these, a slope of mostly buried small piles:

Then the wetland. Walked around in there to see a variety of smaller piles. Over a bit further west was a slight rise with a stone wall. Behind that, the Stop River. Look towards the river, just beyond the stone wall:
The path inland would come directly here from the river.
There were other odds and ends:

Now I should mention this is just across the river from Noon Hill which I reported recently. I would say the first large pile I found here was consistent with the piles I found high on Noon Hill. 
Note the number of confluences in the map above. Wouldn't it be interesting to get to those islands?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Hunger Mountain in the snow

I climbed this hill in Ashburnham a couple weekends ago, mostly just for the exercise. 
 and the nice feel of the woods
 Saw this on the way out
I had been too busy huffing and puffing on the way in.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Stone Pile in the middle of the Old CT Path

    I’m getting a lot of virtual mileage out of those CT Path Videos I linked to a couple days ago (Indian Trails and Rows of Stones) while outdoors continues to be not only snowy and icy but also sort of cold. I find it sometimes satisfying following Jason along those rows of stones but also frustrating when I think I spot Something Possibly Ceremonial – like those boulders at what might be openings that might be a possible serpent. I see them in the distance but as he gets close he swings the camera away to the opposite “stone wall” he keeps telling us is a testament to the skills of the people who showed up in 1620 - along an Indian Trail known to be a “couple thousand years old” (Herman Bender - Personal Communication 01/15/15). Using a law of Parsimony as a guide, a good question might be “Was all that stone work more likely built by the group of people who have lived in this part of the world for the 3% of the total time of human occupation in the area or sometime during the other 97%?” Another way to say that too is for me to paraphrase and mangle up Lucianne Lavin’s question (possibly to Tim Ives) during the Stone Feature Roundtable: “Who do we think would have constructed a stone wall if at the end of that stone wall you find there is a boulder that might represent a snake’s head?”
     It also turns out the actual true CT Path is in dispute: there’s more trails suspected and there other known paths all over CT (and elsewhere) – Are there similar stone features along those trails?  
(Best viewed if you open another window or tab)

     And I should have thought to have chosen a different preview picture at Rock Piles but I thought the map was interesting - and actually I was surprised at this that showed a a preview at
because this is how I see it there: 
     On my 'compose a blog screen' the image looked like it does above in the first photo, a rock pile or Stone Mound or even Carin if you are of Scottish descent and really want to use this European word when these probably a perfectly good Nipmuc word to use, right in the middle of the Path:
      So now I’m thinking that it might not be too cold to stop along a spot where Peter, Norman and I once stopped after the NEARA Fall 1998 Meeting, up by the Bethlehem Town Dump. I would think that I would have shown them showed something similar inside that double stone row construction, often described in stone wall literature as “cow paths,” but the truth is I don’t remember if I did. Maybe there’s a photo from that day of that stone pile – and maybe it really isn’t that cold today; I just may take a chance and get an image that might be remarkably similar...

Multi-brook confluences is a good place to look for rock piles

The top of Falulah Brook in Ashby is illustrative. This map fragment covers many sites and, in the end, I think the topography speaks for itself:
Each red rectangle is a different brook. 

So, this is the topography I recommend for discovering new sites.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Interesting rock from St. Paulo-Brazil

Reader Dr Joseph writes that this was found in a field inside the town. Any comments?

CT Eastern Uplands

      Some photos I received from Brian Cohen, a ridge top site somewhere near Chaplin CT (I am guessing), a Possible Serpent and more: